85 Year-Old Woman Abused

14 Jul
Mrs.O on her 85th birthday.  2013.

Mrs.O on her 85th birthday. 2013.

Today’s post is a serious one.  Abuse in any form is disgusting and despicable, but especially so when it occurs against those who are unable to defend themselves- children, animals and the elderly.  For those of you who think nursing homes are the only places elderly abuse takes place, please, read on and discover how erroneous that line of thinking is.

I’d like to introduce you to Mrs. O.  She’s an 85-year-old woman who is bedridden, weighs less than 100 lbs, suffers from short-term memory loss and mostly blind due to stroke, and has no teeth.  She has lived with her son and his wife for the last nine years.  As a young woman, she married a man twenty years her senior who already had four children, and gave birth to four children of her own during their marriage.  Her husband passed away in the eighties, and from that point she lived on her own until health issues required that she move in with her son after in-home care was no longer an option.  For the first 7 1/2 years, she was under the sole care of her daughter-in-law until a fall resulting in a broken hip led to declining health, eventually leading to her becoming bedridden.  At this point the family felt that her care was too much for her DIL (daughter-in-law) to handle alone, so they called in a local in-home care company to provide care for her during the day and assist with things like feeding and bathing, changing linens, etc.  The family didn’t want to subject her to a nursing home where she would be surrounded by strangers, and they felt she was safer having her cared for in their home instead of at a facility where they couldn’t monitor her care. 

After nearly a year of going through care-giver after care-giver, they finally found a woman (who happens to be a LPN) that they felt comfortable having in their home, and assured that she would provide good care for Mrs. O.  For a family who had already cared for one aging parent (the DIL’s own mother), they were familiar with the peculiarities that come with age, such as tender skin that bruises from the slightest bump and fragile skin that can tear due to something as simple as a bandage being removed.  Marks and bruises happen on the elderly, and the occasional one didn’t alarm them, but what happened a week ago did.

Mrs. O’s DIL entered the room one day last week to find her hands bruised terribly, and the skin torn.  Immediately she was concerned, and expressed to the rest of the family her suspicion that the nurse had held her down with such force that it had torn her skin.  They took photographs and wondered what they could do, because although they had suspicion, they had no proof, only the result of an unknown act.  Mrs. O’s son decided that he would purchase a nanny-cam and place it in his mother’s bedroom, so that from that point on, if there were any marks on her, all they had to do was review the tape and they would know how they got there.  The nanny-cam arrived on Friday and he installed it that night as the nurse was coming the next day.

Saturday, after the nurse left, Mrs. O’s DIL entered the room to find the barely healed week-old tear re-opened and fresh bruising on her hands.  Alarmed, she immediately reviewed the footage and was sickened and infuriated by what she saw.  While bathing Mrs. O. (the only time the door is closed) the nurse proceeded to grab her hands, squeezing them (her DIL said it appeared as though she was ‘grinding her hand in her grip’) tightly, hit her on the shoulder, grabbed her hand and bent her thumb back until her hand was lifted up to her shoulder, the over-200-pound nurse grabbed both her hands and pressed them with so much force into Mrs. O’s abdomen (who, by the way has had colostomy AND Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm surgeries) that her leg bent up off of the bed (that may not sound like much, until you understand that after being bedridden for so long, Mrs. O. normally cannot bend her legs without assistance), and also removed a washcloth from a basin of water, holding it above Mrs. O., while squeezing out the water and letting it pour over her face.  Mrs. O. has breathing problems and is on oxygen and has to have regular nebulizer treatments.

After viewing the footage, Mrs. O’s DIL, in tears, immediately called the person in charge of the company and told her what was going on, and asked her to come out and watch the tape.  The person in charge replied “No one can come out until Monday.”  Mrs. O’s son, after viewing the tape, called her back and informed her that although they would not be sending anyone to view the tape until Monday, the police would be viewing it that night.  And they did.

Last night, the police came out to the residence and viewed the video, at one point gasping audibly at the measure of violence.

Mrs. O.’s son and DIL, while not overly friendly with the nurses, still treated this woman with kindness above and beyond what they needed to, not getting angry when they were late, giving them a ride when their cars have been broken down, and in the case of this particular nurse, giving her a greeting card and gift card to go out to dinner with her husband for her wedding anniversary.

Mrs. O. is my grandmother, and her son and DIL are my parents.

We are horrified and devastated that this happened under their roof, while my grandmother was in the care of someone they trusted to treat her with kindness, dignity and respect, but instead used her position to abuse a defenseless elderly woman.

Please, if you have an elderly family member or friend who is under the care of anyone other than yourself, do them AND yourself a favor and install a nanny-cam BEFORE something happens.  I pray you never need it, but at least you will have the proof if you ever do.  Thank goodness my parents listened to their instincts.

If you suspect elderly abuse, do not hesitate to call the authorities.  The elderly need just as much looking out for and taking care of as our children and our animals, they are just as defenseless, most of the time unable to speak out for themselves, and in the cases of many elderly, not believed when they do.

Previous generations are the reason that we are all here, the reason we’re all able to live and work in whichever society we happen to live in.  They took care of us, fed us, wiped our butts and noses when we were unable to do it for ourselves and protected us from harm.  It’s time to return the favor.

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15 Responses to “85 Year-Old Woman Abused”

  1. astraltravler July 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    My Dear Friend Krafted Khaos,
    How could I possibly click the “like” button? The story you shared, there is nothing to “like” how very sad.
    You raised a Very Impotant Issue/Subject. Until you are in the situation of needing to find a trusted profesional to care for an elderly “Loved One”, you have no idea. The process it takes to find a individual to trust and provide loving and tender care can be a rare commodity. I’m sad to say this has become an epidemic. Thank you for enlightening us to this story.
    Your Friend,
    Anastasia

    Like

    • KraftedKhaos July 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

      Anastasia,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I agree wholeheartedly with you. The saddest part is that, being a CNA, I’ve seen firsthand the neglect that some elderly are put through, but never have I seen such brutal abuse as that in person.

      I can only hope that the police take action against this woman. She deserves to, at minimum, be stripped of her license and never be allowed to work in the care-giving field again.

      Thank you again for your response. It means a lot.

      ~A

      Like

      • astraltravler July 14, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

        I certainly understand as I’m a nurse. As you and I known there are those of us who truly love & care for our patients. And Very Sadly those who are “burned out”, anger, and lost the understanding as to why they went into the field of nursing to providing care to those in need.
        Anastasia

        Like

        • KraftedKhaos July 14, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

          It makes me really sad for my mother, too, because it was hard for her to let someone into her home, even though taking care of my grandmother was exhausting her, she wasn’t comfortable with the idea. We had to talk her into it, because she couldn’t see how much of a toll it was taking on her, but we could. Now I’m worried that she won’t continue to look for the RIGHT care-giver, since the first person she’d actually trusted enough to leave alone in the house with my grandmother turned out to be abusive. 😦

          Like

          • astraltravler July 15, 2013 at 9:03 am #

            My Dear Friend Krafted Khaos,
            I’m so sorry to hear about your Grandfather. Do you live close enough that you could participate in the home health care interveiwing process? For me I go by my first instinct. If I get a “good” feeling, about the care giver, I would still use a “camera” to observe their interactions. Sadly once you have had bad experience, it leaves you not trusting as it should. Please know that their are many caring Home Health Assistants that do provide loving care to those they work with. Trust your Heart, and know I Wish You and Your Family The Very Best.
            Your Friend,
            Anastasia

            Like

            • KraftedKhaos July 15, 2013 at 9:20 am #

              Thank you very much! Yes, I live close, but not close enough, considering I don’t have a car at the moment to get over there. But now that they have the nanny-cam, they’ll definitely be using it. My dad, like me, is a naturally suspicious person, so I doubt anyone will be able to pull the wool over their eyes again. Thank you very much for your kind words and well-wishes. They are greatly appreciated.

              ~A

              Like

  2. Ann July 15, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    Absolutely horrible, and sadly more common than one might think. http://www.caregivers.com/elder-law/elder-abuse/
    Thank you for shedding light on this important issue…

    Like

    • KraftedKhaos July 15, 2013 at 6:57 am #

      Once the legal issues are resolved I’ll be naming names; of the company, if not the LPN herself. The company’s callous disregard for what happened was appalling. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my post. I appreciate it a lot.

      ~A

      Like

      • Ann July 15, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

        Do you mind if I share this story on my blog?

        Like

        • KraftedKhaos July 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

          Absolutely not. You are more than welcome to share. And I thank you for wanting to tell others about it.

          Like

    • Ann July 15, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

      I could have sworn I posted another response earlier today, but I must not have clicked post. …In any case, I feel so terrible for your mother. I can only imagine the guilt she feels, despite the fact that there was no way she could have known this was happening. I hope all involved parties receive the punishment that they deserve; however, in a case like this, I’m not even sure what that is… I can think of a few options, but none of them are legal in this country… So sad…

      Like

      • KraftedKhaos July 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

        Well, being a CNA myself, I know that if convicted of abuse (child, elderly, and I think even animal) she will lose her license and not be able to work in a care-giving capacity (legally) again. Conviction can (and usually does) come with jail time, plus there are civil suits that are possible, but the woman is married, and so her husband’s possessions are vulnerable as well, and my parents would never do that to the man. HE isn’t the one who should be punished, unless he knew what she was doing, but I doubt it. Most abusers don’t brag about their actions.

        Thank you so much for responding, it means a lot.

        ~A

        Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Case Study: Elder Abuse | The Long and Winding Road... - July 16, 2013

    […] weeks ago, I did a post on elder abuse. Today, a fellow blogger shared this post with me. With her permission, I’m sharing the link here because people need to hear stories like this […]

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